A road trip along the Chemins d’eau: From Montebello to Gatineau

Published on July 30 2020 - Updated on June 17 2021

Are you itching to go on a road trip this summer? Discover the DNA of the Outaouais along Les Chemins d’eau (“waterways”), the region’s first tourist route! Don’t worry, you don’t need a watercraft to travel this route. A car and a co-driver with good musical taste will do the trick! 😉

Plaisance Falls

Charm and authenticity in the Petite Nation

Start your journey by stocking up on local products! Although there are many places in the Petite Nation where you can sample local flavours, ChocoMotive and Les Brasseurs de Montebello are two definite musts. Take time for a snack at the Brasseurs pub, where you can choose from a selection of local craft beers.

Once you’ve quenched your thirst, head to Plaisance National Park for a gentle hike or a boating excursion. Bring your binoculars: the park is home to some 230 bird species.

Your next stop is a natural and historic site that has truly stood the test of time: Plaisance Falls! In the 1800s, these falls attracted settlers who built the now-defunct village of North Nation Mills.

bâtir le village de North Nation Mills, aujourd’hui disparu. 

Have you filled up on beautiful scenery? Now it’s time to set down your bags in the heart of the historic village of Montebello. Treat yourself to a night at the Manoir Chamberland, a former rectory turned 4.5-star luxury inn. Not only will you have access to a swimming pool, whirlpool tubs and extensive gardens, but you can also enjoy a gourmet breakfast. 

Nearby, take a step back in time with a guided tour of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site. Now renovated, Louis-Joseph Papineau’s four-towered manor house is a sight to behold. The seigneurial estate of the leader of the Patriotes, with its period outbuildings, also offers an outstanding panoramic view. 

 

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site

All about culture in Gatineau

Go back to Route148 and follow it to Masson-Angers, where you can stop to explore the walking tour in Masson, the hub of the wood sector. 

Continue to downtown Gatineau and the Canadian Museum of History, the most visited museum in the country. Take the time to admire its incredible architecture: you won’t see any sharp angles! This is also an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous cultures and their history through an authentic Indigenous experience that brings people and cultures together.

Now it’s time to visit Les Brasseurs du Temps, the first microbrewery in the Outaouais. Besides gourmet cuisine, the pub offers a laid-back atmosphere, a magnificent terrace and tasty beers. There’s also a beer museum where you can learn about the important role beer has played in the region’s economic development!

Set your GPS for Old Aylmer, the best preserved heritage sector in Gatineau! Download the BaladoDécouverte mobile app and take a self-guided tour of historic Old Aylmer that tells the story of the many buildings and sites that have shaped the community.

Then, choose one of the charming restaurants on Principale Street to have dinner. After your meal, make a last stop at Des Cèdres Park to admire the sunset over the Ottawa River. You won’t regret it! End your stay at the British Hotel, where 19th-century heritage and modern comfort go hand in hand.

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Do you want to continue exploring and making new discoveries? Or are you already planning a second road trip along the Chemins d’eau? This route through the Collines-de-l’Outaouais and the Pontiac will delight your senses (and your stomach)! 😊

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